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The History of Oklahoma Biographies Vol. II
by Luther B. Hill
Page 32


Even as Oklahoma is a new and young state, so it is favored in being vitalized by the infusion of young blood into its civic and business life, gaining to itself men of aggressive commercial ideas and of progressive policies. Among its representative business men in the full prime of vigorous and productive strength is numbered Mr. Hayes, who is president of the Hayes Mercantile Company, of Webbers Falls, Muskogee County, and he has had a large share in furthering the development and upbuilding of this prosperous and attractive little city, where he is known and honored as a liberal and loyal citizen and energetic and substantial business man.

Mr. Hayes was born at Adairsville, Bartow County, Georgia, on the 27th of February. 1872, and is a son of James W. and Missouri (Slaughter) Hayes, both natives of Georgia and representatives of staunch old families of that commonwealth. James W. Hayes removed with his family to Webber's Falls, Oklahoma, in 1880, and here he established a ginnery and saw mill, in connection with the operation of which he also conducted a general store and identified himself with the live stock industry. He erected the first cotton gin in this section of the state, the same having a capacity for the output of twenty-five bales a day, and he was not only one of the honored pioneers of Muskogee County but was also one who contributed in large measure to the normal development of the same, and especially to that of Webber's Falls. He continued to be actively identified with manifold business and industrial interests in this county until his death, which occurred in 1892. He was the third person to engage in the mercantile business in Webber's Falls and few, if any, have made a record for more generous accomplishment for the general welfare than did he. He was essentially broad minded and public spirited' and he devoted his fine energies not only to the upbuilding of his various business interests, which grew to large proportions, but also to the promotion of effective agencies and enterprises conserving the general progress of this now favored section of the state. He was a man of inflexible integrity and of generous attributes of character-loyal to his friends and signally devoted to his family. His name merits an enduring place upon the roll of the sterling pioneers of Oklahoma. His first wife, mother of the subject of this sketch, died prior to the removal from Georgia, and of their children three are living-Oscar L., whose name initiates this article; Lena E., who is the wife of Dr. William H. Harrison, of Cottondale, Florida, and Lester C., who is engaged in the wholesale chin aware business at Muskogee, Oklahoma. After coming to Webber's Falls, James W. Hayes married Mrs. Vicie Schoate, a descendant of a Cherokee family. She died in 1905, leaving three children - Pearl, Cora and Stella.

Oscar L. Hayes secured his early educational discipline in the schools of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and later completed a course in a commercial college at Quincy, Illinois, in which he was graduated in 1899. He was nineteen years of age at the time of the death of his father, and he forthwith assumed charge of the latter's large and varied business interests. He proved himself fully equal to the heavy responsibilities thus placed upon him, and he has well upheld the prestige of the honored name which he bears. The business of which he is now the head was formerly conducted under the firm name of Hayes & Vore. In 1906 Mr. Vore retired, and the Hayes Mercantile Company was then organized and incorporated, with a capital stock of thirty-five thousand dollars. Mr. Hayes has been president from the time of incorporation, and it is to his executive genius and progressive policy that the enterprise has grown to one of immense scope and importance. The large and well-appointed establishment utilized a floor space of fully ten thousand square feet, and in the various departments are to be found comprehensive lines of dry goods, boots and shoes, clothing, groceries, hardware, farming implements and machinery, etc. A well-equipped retail lumber yard is also conducted by the company, which also owns and operates the largest cotton gin in this section of the state. The fine establishment has its own electric lighting plant, and the facilities throughout are essentially metropolitan. Mr. Hayes is also the owner of several finely improved farm properties in Muskogee County, and is one of its popular and influential citizens. In politics, while never having aught of ambition for public office, he gives a loyal support to the principles and policies for which the Democratic party stands sponsor, and he is affiliated with Webber's Falls Lodge, No. 14, Free and Accepted Masons, as well as with the local organizations of the Knights of Pythias and Woodmen of the World.

On the 5th of October, 1900, Mr. Hayes was united in marriage to Miss Ethel Dixon, daughter of Mrs. Emma (Dixon) Goodwin, of Van Buren, Arkansas, and they have two children, James W. and Catherine.


Within the past decade few citizens have been more prominently identified with the development and upbuilding of the present state of Oklahoma than have the subject of this sketch and his honored father, Dr. George H. Branham. He whose name initiates this review is one of the essentially representative business men and influential citizens of Haskell County, where his capitalistic interests are wide and varied, and he maintains his home in the flourishing little city of McCurtain, where he is cashier and one of the principal stockholders of the McCurtain State Bank, which has the distinction of being the first banking institution established in Haskell County. The McCurtain State Bank was founded by Dr. George H. Branham in 1901, in which year it was incorporated with a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars. It is now one of the substantial and popular banking houses of this section of the state and controls a large and prosperous business, the while it affords facilities that are potent in furthering the industrial and civic progress of this part of the vital new commonwealth of Oklahoma.

Durward R. Branham was born at La Plata, Macon County, Missouri, on the 10th of October, 1882, and is a son of Dr. George H. and Icy (Edwards) Branham, both natives of Kentucky. Dr. Branham is a graduate of the Louisville Medical College, of Louisville, Kentucky, and prior to his removal to Oklahoma he devoted practically his entire time and attention to the work of his profession, gaining prestige as one of the representative physicians and surgeons of the state of Missouri. Since coming to the southwest the exactions of his large and important interests have precluded him from doing professional work of more than nominal order. In the year 1900 he removed to Oklahoma and took up his residence in what is now Hughes County. He identified himself most intimately and prominently with local interests, both civic and industrial, and it may be said without fear of legitimate contradiction that few residents of this state have contributed in more generous measure to its development and social and material upbuilding as one of the sovereign commonwealths of the Union. He became the owner of a large landed estate, and still retains much valuable realty in Hughes. Haskell and other counties. Recently he is continuing in the same line of worthy and productive enterprise in the territory of New Mexico, where he has large interests, and he now maintains his home the greater portion of the time in San Jon, that territory. Dr. Branham has been twice married, his first wife, the mother of the subject of this sketch, having been summoned to the life eternal in 1884 and being survived by three sons - James, who is associated with his father's business at San Jon, New Mexico; Garland E., who is engaged in the general merchandise business at Echo, Oklahoma, and Durward R., whose name forms the caption of this article. In 1888 Dr. Branham was united in marriage to Miss Clara Gordon, of Chillicothe, Missouri, and she died in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1909, being survived by one son, George H., who is with his father at San Jon, New Mexico.

Durward R. Branham gained his early educational discipline in the public schools of his native state, and when but fourteen years of age he secured employment in the drug store of Hugo Kohler, of St. Louis, Missouri, with whom he remained three years, within which time he became a capable pharmacist. At the expiration of the period noted Mr. Branham became a bookkeeper in the Bank of Mokane, at Mokane, Missouri, a position he retained for several years, gaining valuable experience in banking systems and business methods, so that he was well equipped for the position to which he was called soon after coming with his father to Oklahoma in 1900. In the meanwhile he amplified his experience through other and important business connections. In 1901 he engaged in the hardware business at Wetumka, Hughes County, this state, as one of the interested principals in the firm of John D. Richards & Company. Later a reorganization was effected, and the business was incorporated under the title of the Richards Boyle Mercantile Company. Its operations were greatly amplified, and well equipped stores were maintained at Okemah. Dustin and Wetumka, Indian Territory, now a part of the state of Oklahoma, With this prosperous business enterprise Mr. Branham continued to be actively identified until 1903. when he disposed of his interest and removed to McCurtain. where he became cashier of the McCurtain State Bank, which had been founded by his father about four years previously, as already noted in this article. He has given a most able administration as the active executive of the affairs of this institution, in which he is a large stockholder, and it is now one of the ably managed and most substantial of the banking concerns of the new state.

Mr. Branham is also president of the Sans Bois Land and Development Company, incorporated under the laws of the state, with a capital stock of four thousand dollars; is secretary of the City Electric Light and Power Company, of McCurtain; is president of the McCurtain and Chant Telephone Company, and owns and operates a number of farms in Haskell County. No citizen is more progressive and public spirited, and he is ever ready to give his influence and tangible co-operation in the promotion of measures and enterprises tending to advance the civic and commercial interests of his home city, county and state.

In politics Mr. Branham is one of the recognized leaders in the ranks of the Republican party in the state. He is an active worker in behalf of the cause of the "grand old party." and is at the present time chairman of the Republican central committee of Haskell County. Upon the admission of Oklahoma to the Union he had the distinction of being secretary of the first Republican congressional convention, which met at McAlester in 1907. In a fraternal way Mr. Branham is affiliated with McCurtain Lodge, No. 126, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

On the 14th of June, 1950, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Branham to Miss Josephine Benham, daughter of Charles A. and Caroline Benham, of St. Louis, Missouri, where Mr. Benham is a representative business man, being one of the interested principals in the wholesale grocery house of the Goddard Grocery Company. Mrs. Branham has two brothers and two sisters. Blanche is the wife of Boyle A. Buckner, of Nevada, Missouri; Grace is the wife of Harry Ogden Crane, of New York City; Guy is a resident of Los Angeles, California, and Ross remains at the parental home in the city of St. Louis. Mr. and Mrs. Branham have one daughter. Josephine Laverne, who was born on the 21st of October, 1906. They are prominently identified with the best social activities of their home city, and their popularity is of the most unequivocal order.


In the thriving and attractive little city of Chant, Haskell County, no person is better known or held in higher esteem than Mrs. Cox, who has the distinction of having been appointed the first postmaster at this place, an office of which she is still the capable and valued incumbent. It was largely due to her efforts that a postoffice was established in Chant, and she waged a battle royal with the neighboring town of McCurtain before she was able to secure postoffice service for the town in whose development and upbuilding she has taken a vital and helpful interest. She is the widow of T. K. Cox, who died in Chant on the 17th of November, 1908, having been assistant postmaster at the time of his demise. Mrs. Cox is a woman of distinctive culture and of gracious personality, is known as a especially able executive and business woman, and is well entitled to representation in this history of her home state.

Tandy K. Cox was born in the state of Missouri on the 19th of May, 1857, and was a child at the time of his father's death. His mother later became the wife of Franklin Tobey. and soon afterward they moved to Franklin County, Arkansas, being numbered among the earliest settlers in that section, where Mr. Cox was reared to manhood and where his marriage to Miss Elizabeth J. McCormick was solemnized in the year 1899. Mr. Cox devoted the major portion of his active career to farming, and was one of the early settlers of the town of Chant, where he and his wife took up their residence in 1903 and where his death occurred in 1908, as noted in the initial paragraph of this sketch. He was a staunch Republican in polities and way a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, as are also his widow and daughter.

Mrs. Elizabeth J. Cox was born in the city of Topeka, Kansas, and is a daughter of Rev. Charles W. and Mary E. (Mock) McCormick, the former of whom was born in Ohio and the latter in Illinois, their marriage having been solemnized at Lawrence, Kansas. The father was a man of marked intellectuality and was one of the early clergymen of the state of Kansas, in Shawnee and Douglass counties, where he maintained his home until 1879, when he removed with his family to Franklin County, Arkansas, where he became the founder of the town of Vesta, where he established a mill, a cotton gin and a general store, and where he built up a large and prosperous business, becoming one of the prominent and influential citizens of that section of the stale. After having assisted in the upbuilding of the flourishing village of Vesta, where he continued in business for a number of years, his health became much impaired, and he removed to his farm in Sebastian County, Arkansas, where he continued to reside until his death, which occurred on the 25th of January, 1893. His cherished and devoted wife, held in affectionate regard by all who knew her, died on the 24th of December, 1900. Of the four children, Mrs. Cox is the eldest; Lucy E. died at the age of about thirty-eight years; Annie is the wife of Robert Kersey, of San Antonio, Texas, and John H. is a successful business man in the city of Seattle, Washington. The lineage of the McCormick family is traced back to staunch Irish extraction, and the original representative of the family of which Mrs. Cox is a member came to the United States from County Cork. He was a relative of Cyrus McCormick, whose name is known throughout the world in connection with the invention and manufacturing of mowing and reaping machines.

Mrs. Cox was afforded excellent educational advantages, including a course in Lane University at Lecompton, Kansas. She turned her scholastic acquirements to good use when a young woman, becoming a successful and popular teacher in the public schools of Sebastian and Franklin counties, Arkansas. After her father founded the town of Vesta, that state, .she was appointed its first postmaster, in 1884, under the administration of President Hayes. She retained this office for a period of seven years, at the expiration of which, in 1891, she engaged in teaching in the public schools of that section, having followed the pedagogic profession most successfully in Franklin and Sebastian counties, Arkansas, until 1903, in which year she came with her husband to Plaskell County, Oklahoma, and located in what is now the town of Chant. This place was then known as Panther, and was entirely unorganized as a village, the San Bois Coal Company representing the principal industrial enterprise of the locality. As the nearest postoffice was two miles distant at the time of the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Cox, the latter, by reason of her present intimate experience in connection with postoffice affairs, discerned the imperative demand for an office at Chant. The people of the community rallied to her standard, becoming informed of her facility in postal work, and they valiantly supported her in her earnest and indefatigable efforts to secure a local postoffice, in opposition to the insistent objection of the town of McCurtain, in which was established the nearest postoffice. The conflict between the rival towns waged vigorously for a year, and it should be a matter of recorded history that the laurels of' victory were gained to Chant mainly through the effective labors of Mrs. Cox. After the postoffice department had given instructions to drop and receive mail pouches at Chant the railroad company refused to give this service for a period of fourteen days. In this emergency the valiant woman, who had responded to the general request to assume charge of the new office, proved well her fertility in expedients, for she secured a mail pouch at Fort Smith, Arkansas, and within the fourteen days noted she made several trips back and forth from Chant, where mail was to be dispatched. The Chant mail had been sent back from McCurtain to Fort Smith, and under these belligerent auspices Mrs. Cox finally succeeded in establishing the office in the thriving town which is now her home. It is a matter of record that no conflict and difficulty has attended the founding of a postoffice in any other section of the Union in many years. The Chant office is now the second in importance in Haskell County, and is the largest money order office in the county in volume of the business of the registry and mail order departments. It will undoubtedly soon be advanced to the position of an office of the third class. The postmaster's salary at the beginning was about seven hundred dollars, and by increase of the business it is now eleven hundred dollars, including money order work. No rural free delivery routes touch this office, but it supplies the demands of a large and appreciative service, all patrons having unstinted admiration for the able postmaster and according to her unequivocal esteem. Mrs. Cox is a member of the National League of Postmasters of the United States; is denied the right of franchise, but is well fortified in her convictions as to matters of public policy, thus placing her faith in the principles of the Republican party. She and her daughter are zealous members of the Methodist church, and are popular factors in connection with the social life of the community. Mr. and Mrs. Cox became the parents of two daughters--Mary E., who is now the wife of James E. Bennight, of Acme, Wyoming, and Myrtle B., who is deputy postmaster under the administration of her mother.


One of the largest business corporations of this part of the state is the McKee Construction Company, composed of Charles F. and Frank L. McKee. And although this firm has been in business only since the brothers came to the state, in the spring of 1909, they were previously connected in business with their father, Simpson McKee, the well-known contractor of Springfield, Illinois. Under his able teaching the sons learned the business thoroughly in its every department, and the father and sons together constructed many of the prominent buildings of Springfield, including the present Armory building there, which covers one-half of a block and is three stories high in the arsenal department and one story in the armory. This building is sixty-five feet high from the inside, and covers an acre of ground. The last building constructed by this firm was what is called the Booth building, erected of steel and hollow tile, strictly fireproof, and one of the handsomest buildings of the city and the tallest office building. It is finished throughout with mahogany. The high school at Vincennes, Indiana, was also built by them, as was also the large public school at Bridgeport, Illinois, and the handsome Methodist Episcopal church building at Watseka, that state, the latter erected at a cost of sixty-seven thousand dollars.

It was soon after the completion of this church building that the McKee brothers came to Oklahoma, and here as well as in the older central states, they have fully demonstrated their ability in their chosen profession. They have at the present time under way several large contracts, including a three-story school building for Stillwater, a church at Muskogee, and a building for the A. and M. College at Tishomingo, and another for the same institution at Warner, besides smaller buildings in other portions of the state. As mentioned above, the McKee brothers were thoroughly fitted for the high place they now occupy in the building circles under their father's training, a man well known among the builders of the central states and one of the leaders in his line, and his sons are doing credit to his splendid training and guidance. Their present contracts also include a large hospital building at Muskogee.

Frank L. McKee was born near Zanesville, Ohio, in 1882, and was educated in the schools of Springfield, Illinois. The McKee brothers take no active interest in political life, but are progressive citizens, and perform their full share in the development and well being of the state of their adoption.


An active, skillful and popular physician of Hoffman, McIntosh County, has built up an extensive and lucrative practice in this part of Oklahoma. He was the second practitioner to locate in this vicinity, and is the only one now here. A native of Missouri, he was born, in 1875, in Osceola, Saint Clair County, a son of Henry C. Carloss.

Although born and bred in Kentucky, Henry C. Carloss spent a large part of his early life in Saint Clair County, Missouri, being a member of one of its pioneer families. He was there employed in agricultural pursuits until 1883, when he moved to Texas, where he continued his farming operations for many years. Coming with his family to Oklahoma in 1909, he located in Magnum, Greer County, where he is prosperously employed as a dealer in cotton. He married Fannia Cock, who was born in Missouri, and they are the parents of six children, all sons, namely: William; John, living in western Texas; Richard, deceased, late of Texas; Lannie, of Hobart, Oklahoma; Thomas C., the subject of this sketch; and Ralph, of Magnum, Oklahoma.

Laying a substantial foundation for his future education in the public schools of Alvord, Texas. Thomas C. Carloss entered Fort -Worth University, at Fort Worth, Texas, in 1893, when the institution was first established, and was subsequently graduated from its medical department. Having passed the examination of the State Medical Board, he located in Alvord, Texas, and was there engaged in the practice of his profession from 1894 until coming to Oklahoma, in 190;). In the meantime, wishing to further perfect himself in the knowledge of his profession, Dr. Carloss entered the medical department of the Southwestern University, at Dallas, where he was graduated with the class of 1904-5. On December 23, 1905. the Doctor located in Hoffman, and as a physician has met with eminent success, his practice in this vicinity including all of the country within a radius of seven miles, his extensive patronage keeping him busy.

Dr. Carloss married, in 1899, Etta Chatham, who was born in Alvord, Texas, where her parents, Lemuel A. and Mattie (Thompson) Chatham, were pioneer settlers. Mr. Chatham, a successful farmer and stockman, came to Hoffman, Oklahoma, in 1905. and here erected the first residence and the second business house. He subsequently established the first drug store in this place, and managed it until retiring from active pursuits. Mr. and Mrs. Chatham have three children, as follows: Etta, wife of Dr. Carloss: Charles, a druggist in Muskogee. Oklahoma, and Forest, of Hoffman. Oklahoma. The union of Dr. and Mrs. Carloss has been brightened by the birth of two children, namely: Leila L. and Lorren L.

Dr. Carloss, in 1898, enlisted in Company H, Third Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the Spanish-American war, being on special duty in Texas with the recruiting officer. He is now serving as local surgeon for the M., 0. & G. Railroad. Politically the Doctor is a Democrat of the old school, and fraternally he belongs to Hoffman Lodge, No. 211, I. 0. 0. F. Both he and his wife are active and consistent members of the Baptist church, and are generous contributors towards its support.


One of the pioneer ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, in 1807. He is a son of George C. and Maria (Snoddy) Shay. The Shay family came to Missouri in 1856, and the Snoddy family in 1840. Mr. Shay settled in Urich, and worked for a railroad company; he joined the Confederate army and served under General Price at the beginning of the war. He took part in the battle of Wilson's Creek, and was afterwards transferred to General Lee's command, participating in the battles of Vicksburg, Shiloh, Shenandoah, and others. He was wounded three times, and was with Lee at the time of his surrender. At the close of the war he located in Saint Louis, where he lived until 1893. and then came to the Creek Nation, settling near Sallisaw, and moved in 1902 to Checotah, where he still resides, a farmer and stock man. His wife died in Arizona. September 17, 1877. They were the parents of three children, of whom the only one now surviving is Orlando. Mr. Shay married (second), in 1878, Mary Edwards, and they are parents of eight children, namely: Mariah, Robert L., E. C., John. Pollie, Mattie, Emily, and one deceased. Mariah married Lacy Mullens, of Sallisaw, and Pollie is also married.

Reverend Orlando Shay spent one year at Hiram and Lydia College, of Altus, Arkansas, and three years at the church school at Vinita, Oklahoma. He had preached one year before receiving the last three years' instruction. Before coming to Checotah he spent some years at Henrietta. In 1907 Reverend Mr. Shay became presiding elder for the full blood Creek and Cherokee Nation, which also includes the Seminole Nation, and covers some twelve or thirteen large counties in the eastern portion of Oklahoma. He has many and various duties and a large field to cover, so that his entire time and attention are taken up with this work. Since assuming this office the property of the churches under his supervision has doubled in value, and the society at large has prospered to such a great extent as to be highly gratifying to the ministers, the people and to himself. Reverend Shay has the full affection and esteem of his people, who look forward to his every visit with pleasure.

Besides his ministerial duties, Reverend Shay has large real estate interests, as he and his family own several valuable farms. He takes an active interest in farming, and has one of the most beautiful orchards in McIntosh County, in which he grows many fine varieties of apples and peaches. Politically he is a Democrat, and he is a member of Checotah Lodge, No. 88, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

Reverend Mr. Shay married, January 24, 1901. Mrs. Minnie Lerblance, of Cherokee parentage, daughter of James Bowls and his wife, Chough Yonk, the latter a half breed. The grandfather of Mrs. Shay, Captain Boles, was chief of the Cherokees of Texas in an early day, and a warm personal friend of General Houston, with whom he served during the wars of 1830 and 1848. Mrs. Shay's parents died when she was a small child, leaving her and her brother Richard. Reverend Mr. Shay and his wife have four children - Jessie L,., Minnie T., Helen and Wynema. By a former marriage Mrs. Shay has a daughter, Lillian Lerblance. Reverend Mr. Shay is the principal stockholder in the electric light and ice plant of Checotah, and is also the owner of the largest mercantile building in the city.


One of the oldest settlers of McIntosh County is Wilber S. Jones, who is among the leading stock men of his part of the state. Mr. Jones was born in Fayetteville. Arkansas, and is a son of Albert and Mary (Malone) Jones, both natives of Tennessee. Albert Jones was a farmer and stock man, and in 1874 he removed to Texas, where he carried on farming for a number of years. In 1902 he located in Oklahoma and took up his residence near where the town of Checotah now stands. There he died, January 3, 1904. He and his wife reared seven children, viz.: Wilber S.; Robert; Susa, wife of E. Ashbrook; Lulu, wife of Till Thomas; Dollie, wife of E. Dobbs: Nerva, wife of Sam L.; Sterling and John H.

The education of W. S. Jones was received in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and he attended the university there for some time. He went with his parents to Texas, and when eighteen years of age began working for himself as a cow herder, in Williamson County, Texas. He lived in Texas until 1892, when he located in old Oklahoma, and in 1893 he removed to what is now McIntosh County. The village of Checotah then had only one store, one hotel and two other small buildings used for business purposes, besides about half a dozen residences of the cheapest order, known as boxed buildings. For several years after settling at Checotah Mr. Jones carried on farming on leased land, and in 1894 became deputy United States marshal for the Indian Territory, Northern District. He ha? probably had to deal with as many tough and undesirable characters as any man now living in the vicinity who served a similar length of time in a like capacity. Among the most noted men he arrested in the course of his 'duties were members of the Pemberton gang and the Turners, who were associated with them. The Shelby brothers were also considered desperate characters, as well as many others, most of whom had been engaged in rustling cattle or robbing stages or trains. Some were tried in Muskogee, and many were given life sentences. The members of the old Hughes gang were tried in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and old Mr. Hughes received a sentence of only five years. The Shelby brothers were each sentenced to ten years' imprisonment. Mr. Jones served as marshal until 1907 brought the advent of statehood, and he can recount many interesting experiences and occurrences, which we should be pleased to include did lack of space not forbid. Since 1907 Mr. Jones has been principally engaged in farming, and has met with gratifying success.

April 11, 1899, Mr. Jones married Lillie Dobbs, daughter of Elisha and Sarah Dobbs. Mr. Dobbs and his wife have four children, namely: George and Rose, twins; Lillie, Mrs. Jones; and Beatrice, wife of Joe Love. The following children have been born to Mr. Jones and his wife: Leo, Hazel, Roy and Clyde. Mr. Jones is a member of Checotah Lodge, No. 20, I. 0. 0. F. Politically he is a Republican, and actively interested in public affairs. He is highly esteemed in the community, where he is well known, and is considered an enterprising and representative citizen.


A prominent physician of Vian, Vian township, Sequoyah County, was born in York Township, Van Wert County, Ohio, March 29, 1867. His grandfather, Dr. John Hunter, came to this country with his brother (Caraway Hunter) from France. The brother (Caraway) became dissatisfied and returned to France. Dr. John Hunter was raised in a city; he received a good education and could speak five different languages. He came to America when he was about twenty-three years old; he married shortly after coming and to this union was born one child, named William Hamilton Hunter. Dr. John Hunter located at White Sulphur Springs. Greenbrier County, Virginia, some twenty years before the breaking out of the Civil war, and at the last account of him he was still there and had become quite wealthy.

William H. Hunter, the father of our subject, was born at White Sulphur Springs, Virginia, March 1, 1844. His mother only lived till her son was two weeks old. His father then placed his young son in Henry Gardner's family, and they all (Henry Gardner) moved to Green County, Ohio, near Xenia. The father paid $300 a year for eight years for his son's raising, and furnished the son with all his clothes. About this time Mr. Gardner's wife died. Then for one year William H. lived with Peter Dingess, from there going to Hesekiah Clemmons; he next lived with Rev. Noah Hough for three years on a farm. At the breaking out of the Civil war September 19, 1861, Mr. Hunter enlisted in the Thirty-first 0. V. I. under Captain Millers for three years and was in twenty-seven battles, the first at Mills Springs, Kentucky. He was in all the battles of the Atlanta campaign, and was never wounded during this service. After the expiration of his term of enlistment he returned to Green County, Ohio, where he remained a short time. He then went to Van Wert, Ohio, where he was married to Miss Eliza Jane Demint, May 23, 1866, and they moved to a farm in York township, remaining there seven years. Then selling out, they moved to Washington township, where they purchased a farm and remained fourteen years. On selling this they bought a farm in Union township, but only remained there one year, when they sold it and bought a fine farm of one hundred and eighty acres one mile southeast of Willshire, in Willshire township, where they remained till after the death of the wife, when the father moved to Willshire, where he is now a retired farmer. He is a stockholder in the Old Willshire Bank and one of its directors. To the union of William H. and Eliza J. Hunter was born the following children: Willis M., Frank J. and Ida E. Frank J. died at Vian, Oklahoma, February 22, 1910, aged forty-one years, one month and ten days. Ida E. married Lee Bell and lives on a farm adjoining the home place in Ohio.

James Demint, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was born in Clark County, Ohio, November 1, 1806. He was reared on a farm, and afterwards moved from Clark County to Green County and settled on a farm near Xenia. He remained on this farm till October 31, 1861, when he enlisted in the Seventy-fourth 0. V. I. and served in that company until August 12, 1864, when he was transferred to Company B, Seventh Reserve, and remained in this company until his death, which occurred November 21, 1864. The immediate cause of his death was by the taking of wrong medicine by mistake. He died in the company hospital at Washington, D. C., near Spokane. At the time of his death he was aged fifty-eight years and three weeks. He had married Mary Jane Hillyard July 30, 1842, and to this union was born the following children: Jesse, Cynthyanne, Eliza Jane, John and Susanne, all of whom have preceded him to the other world, except Jesse. Mary Jane (Hillyard) Demint, the grandmother of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania, December 16, 1823. Afterwards her parents moved to Green County, Ohio, where at the age of eighteen years, seven months and fourteen days, she was married to James Demint on the 30th day of July, 1842. After the death of her husband she moved from Green County to Van Wert County, where she purchased a farm four and one-half miles southeast of Van Wert. She lives there with one of her grandchildren ; her son Jesse also lives in the same yard. She has remained a widow since her husband's death, and is a member of the First Methodist Episcopal church, and raised her children to adhere to that faith. She has lived to see her great-great-grandchildren, or her fourth generation. She is well and enjoying good health for a woman of her age, being in her eighty-seventh year.

Eliza Jane (Demint) Hunter, the mother of our subject, was born near Xenia, Ohio, February 20, 1850; she afterwards moved with her mother to Van Wert County and remained on the farm until after her marriage to William H. Hunter, which occurred May 23, 1866. She and her husband lived happily together until death separated them June 27, 1902. She gave her heart to God early in life and remained a Christian till death. At the time of her death she was a member of the First Methodist Episcopal church of Willshire. Ohio.

William M. Hunter was reared on a farm near Middle Point, Ohio, till he was twenty-one years old, when he entered the Western Ohio Normal school at Middle Point, and during this time he began the study of medicine under Dr. L. E. Ladd (in 1888) and continued reading under this preceptor till he entered the Baltimore Medical College of Baltimore, Maryland, in 1890: during the recess of the school in the summer he returned to his preceptor and remained with him till September, when he returned to college and remained there till he was graduated in 1892. Dr. Hunter immediately began the practice of his chosen profession at Wren, Ohio, where he remained six months; then sought a broader field and for two years and a half was in active practice at Worstville, Paulding County, Ohio. He there met with phenomenal success, was elected coroner of Paulding County on the Republican ticket with a plurality of 746 votes. He afterwards resigned his office as coroner on account of permanent change of residence from the county. He moved to Middle Point, Ohio, to accept a partnership with his former preceptor, where he had a large scope for the exercise of his skill and where his professional abilities were fully recognized. Dr. Hunter remained with his preceptor (Dr. L. E. Ladd) for two years and a half. He then returned to Baltimore, Maryland, and took a review of the medical work for two months, returning home in March. He was married to Miss Ida M. Lefever March 18, 1897. They then started out on a search for a new field for the doctor's profession, which tour was somewhat in the nature of a wedding trip. They started from Willshire. Ohio, March 31, 1897, and traveled by wagon to Richmond, Indiana; there they took the National pike to St. Louis, Missouri; from there they went to Springfield, then to Seneca, and from there they visited the following towns: Vinita. Wagoner, Ft. Gibson, Tahlequah, Stilwell, Sallisaw, and finally located at Vian (Northern district Indian Territory), now Sequoyah County, Oklahoma, June 21, 1897, and remained here ever since, where they are both received in the best of society.

Ida M. (Lefever) Hunter was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, January 15, 1877, and spent a part of her childhood days there. Her father, Charles W. Lefever, afterwards moved to Paulding County. Ohio, on a farm, remained there a few years and then moved with his family to Elgin, Van Wert County, where Ida M., as stated above, was married to Dr. Hunter. To this union was born one child (a girl), named Gale Ophelia.


Among the most prominent men of McIntosh County, Oklahoma, is J. C. McCurder, who is a most successful farmer and well-known citizen. Mr. McCurder was born in Arkansas in 1861, a son of J. W. and Susan (Bell) McCurder, who came to the Creek Nation about 1870 and settled about ten miles southwest of Eufaula. They leased land, and Mr. McCurder carried on farming several years. He died on this land in 1884, leaving a widow and three children. He had served a short time in the

Confederate army and had held various minor offices in Franklin County, Arkansas, before locating in Indian Territory. He did not, however, take any active part in Indian political affairs. His wife survived him many years and passed away in 1900. They were parents of five children, three of whom lived to maturity, as follows: J. C.; David B., of Oklahoma City, and Maggie G., wife of Thomas Harvey, of Haskell County.

J. C. McCurder received his early education in the public schools of Arkansas but did not attend school after he was twelve years of age. He has been successful in a business way, and is considered one of the enterprising, representative citizens of the county. He spent his young manhood in Indian Territory, where there were few white settlers, and learned the possibilities and opportunities offered for business advancement and prosperity. He learned every detail of farming and stock raising, and has always exerted himself in a manner to insure success. At the age of twenty-five years he married Angelina Stewart, the only child of H. L. and Amanda (Smith) Stewart, and of this marriage six children have been born, of whom the following four survive: Lottie C., wife of J. H. Kirby, of Muskogee County; Samuel K., Jennett and Clemons A. Mr. McCurder has one hundred and twenty acres of land under cultivation. besides about the same amount belonging to his children. He and his family worship generally in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Politically Mr. McCurder is an old line Democrat, and he takes an active interest in the success of his party. He intends to do his share toward the progress and development of the county, and is an intelligent, up-to-date farmer.


One of the leading young farmers of McIntosh County, Oklahoma, is Samuel J. Lewis, who lives near Checotah. Mr. Lewis was born in what is now the town of Coweta, when it was in the Creek Nation. He is a son of Samuel F. and Sarah G. Lewis, who came from Georgia to the Nation about 1848-50. Mrs. Lewis is about one-quarter Creek and her husband is a trifle less than one-quarter Cherokee. They settled between where Coweta now stands and the village of Porter, where Mr. Lewis became a successful and prominent farmer. He served as peace officer and deputy marshal. Like many others, Mr. Lewis was extensively engaged in stock raising before statehood, but afterwards turned his attention almost wholly to farming, as stock raising was not nearly so profitable as when much of the land was considered almost as common property. He and his wife now reside near Coweta. Only two of their children grew to maturity, namely: Lucile, wife of S. J. Brown, of Oklahoma, and Samuel J.

The early life of Samuel J. Lewis was spent on a farm, and he acquired most of his education in the Creek Mission school in Eufaula, although he spent one term attending school in Tahlequah. When about twenty years of age Mr. Lewis married Susie Smith, daughter of Daniel L. and Mary Smith, who is two-thirds Creek. He then engaged in farming on land controlled by his wife's father. His own allotment was close to that of his wife, and together they own a good amount of fine land. Mr. Lewis is an enterprising farmer and carries on his farm along modern methods. He is a public spirited citizen and well known in the county. Mr. Lewis and his wife have one son, Alford G. They had four other children who are deceased. Politically Mr. Lewis is a Democrat, and although he takes no active part in politics he is much interested in public affairs.


Sheriff of McIntosh County, is an old and prosperous stockman who came into the Creek nation in 1887. when he had but just passed his majority. There is no one who understands its people better, or who has gained a wider respect from all classes. Sheriff Odom was born in Johnson County, Arkansas, February 8, 1866, and is a son of Robert and Angeline (Swift) Odom. natives respectively of South Carolina and Virginia. His father came to Johnson County when but fourteen years of age, and there he reached manhood, farming most of his life, but distinguishing himself as having served in both the Mexican and the Civil wars. When the war of the Rebellion ceased, he was a Confederate prisoner at Fort Smith, Arkansas, but at his release returned to his farm in Johnson County, where he died in May, 1878. The deceased left a widow and the following sons and daughters: Charity, now a resident of McIntosh County; Jacob and John, both residents of Arkansas; Jessie, who married, died and left a family in that state; Richard, who died as a resident of Oklahoma; George, of Arkansas; and Edward, who resides in McIntosh County. The mother of this family survived until 1908.

The sheriff was educated in his native Arkansas County until he was thirteen years of age, when he moved to a farm in Parker County, Texas. After a year of farming and ranching in that part of the state, he returned to Arkansas and for six years engaged in agricultural pursuits near Fort Smith, coming to Oklahoma (then the Creek nation of the Indian territory) in 1887. Although he was one of the pioneer whites of the region, there were few "bad men," and on the whole he has spent more than twenty years of peace, quiet and growing prosperity, having from first to last been recognized as one of the most successful cattlemen in this section.

Mr. Odom located at Checotah in 1898, served as its city marshal for two years, and then devoted himself to his stock interests more vigorously than ever, not having relinquished them even under the far more strenuous duties of the shrievalty. When statehood came in with 1907 he was elected to the office by eighty-eight votes, and in March of the following year occurred the complex troubles between the negroes and whites at the old Hickory grounds, near Henrietta, and the uprising of the lawless Creeks under Crazy Snake, which resulted in numerous riots and much bloodshed. In the battle between the negroes and whites, there were killed one of the latter and twenty blacks, besides several negroes wounded. On the 27th of March Mr. Odom's son, Herman, with three deputy sheriffs and two volunteers. attempted to serve a warrant of arrest on Crazy Snake, who. with his lawless Creeks and two negro desperadoes, had been carousing in a cabin belonging to one of the number. At the approach of the officers the Indians and negroes fled, but upon being ordered to halt opened fire, and in the running fight of seventy-five yards which followed, Ed Baum, one of the deputies, was shot to death, and young Odom, in coming to his relief, was killed from ambush by the Indians. In the opinion of the sheriff Crazy Snake himself did the shooting, but nothing definite could be proven against him. He himself was wounded, with another Indian who has since been reported dead. One of the negro outlaws (Samuel Brown) was also shot and died at Muskogee. After the fight reported there was another skirmish between the Indians and the sheriff's forces, but no one was injured. Soon afterward the state militia was called out to assist the civil authorities, but, in spite of their united efforts, Crazy Snake remains at liberty, although in hiding. But in these disturbances, as in all else which calls for a cool bravery and determined action, the sheriff has been found "right there."

In March, 1886, Mr. Odom married Miss Mary Lenning, then a resident of Arkansas, but a native of Georgia. One son and one daughter were born to them, Olah and Herman, both deceased - the latter in the brave discharge of his duty, as already noted. Mrs. Mary Odom, who was a devoted member of the Methodist church, South, died in 1897. In 1898 Mr. Odom married Miss Ruth Cleveland, of Oklahoma, daughter of Lafayette and Mima (Miller) Cleveland. The father secured a home in old Oklahoma in 18S9, although he had resided in the Chickasaw Nation long before the "opening." He and his wife became the parents of nine children, all of whom, except Mrs. Odom, reside in New Mexico. They are as follows: Larkin and Lee; Ruth, Mrs. Odom; Lola, now the wife of Sidney Trout; Thomas: Maud, Mrs. John Trout; Laura, who married Pleas Trout; Rezin and Ella, who live at home. By his second marriage the sheriff is the father of one child, Martin. Besides standing high as an officer of the peace and an old-time stockman, Mr. Odom is an active and respected Mason, being a member of Checotah Lodge No. 74. His interest in the Democratic party does not prevent him taking deep pride in all that contributes to the growth of Oklahoma, irrespective of party credit.


McIntosh County, Oklahoma, offers ideal conditions for the pursuit of agriculture, and among the leading young farmers of that county is to be found James G. Davidson. He was born in Johnson County, Arkansas, in 1874, and is a son of S. H. and Rebecca (Hendrix) Davidson, who were among the early settlers of the last-named county. His parents died when he was small and, being an only child, he acquired little knowledge of his parents or their ancestors, either maternal or paternal.

James G. Davidson grew to manhood among comparative strangers, and received only a limited education. When a young man he came to what was then the Choctaw Nation, where he worked On. a ranch several years. In 1896 he was made deputy United States marshal and worked principally among the Cherokee and Choctaw tribes. He was an able officer, and had little difficulty with the so-called "bad men", of the territory. At present Mr. Davidson takes no active part in political matters, but is an ardent Democrat and takes considerable interest in the success of his party. He is a self-made man, and has been successful in carrying on his present farm. He has some seventy acres of land in cultivation and about ninety acres of pasture land. He has a comfortable house and pleasant surroundings, and is considered one of the enterprising men of the community.

In 1900 Mr. Davidson married Angie Sloan, who was born in Eufaula, McIntosh County, formerly part of the Creek territory. She is a daughter of R. S. and Emma G. (Bosac) Sloan, natives of Alabama and Georgia, respectively, who were married in Mississippi and came to Oklahoma in 1897. Mr. Sloan was engaged in the stock business; he and his wife are both deceased. They were the parents of six children, two of whom now survive, Angie, now Mrs. Davidson, and W. R., of Colorado. Mr. Davidson and his wife have one son, Hiram, aged six years. Mrs. Davidson is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.


A successful farmer and stockman of McIntosh County, Oklahoma, whose home is near the village and post-office of Fawn, was born in Alabama in 1864. He is a son of D. C. and Sarah (Vaughan) Staley, both natives of Marshall County, Alabama, where their parents settled about 1826, being among the earliest white persons living there. At this point the Creek and Cherokee Indians had their famous ball-grounds where the champion athletes entertained the people of the two tribes. S. L. Staley came to Oklahoma in 1890, and settled in what was then the Chickasaw Nation, where he engaged in farming in a small way. Like most of the white residents in those days he also engaged in raising cattle and stock dealing, in which he met with gratifying success. In 1901 Mr. Staley removed to what is now McIntosh County, where he located on one hundred and sixty acres of land, which he leased until 1907, when he made its purchase. This farm has many improvements and contains a good home and comfortable outbuildings.

In 1886 Mr. Staley married Alice, daughter of L. D. and C. S. Brown, and to this union have been born children as follows: James D., Susan L. and Rebecca B. All three children reside with their parents and, with them, worship at the Baptist church at Fawn. Politically Mr. Staley is a supporter of the Independent party, although he generally votes the Democratic ticket. He is well known in the community as an able, industrious farmer, and is accounted one of the leading citizens. He has seen many improvements and changes in the vicinity of his present home, and keeps fully abreast of the times in all things.


One of the first settlers of Westville and one of the early builders and merchants of the place, was born in Henry County, Virginia, February 19, 1846. His ancestors were among the earliest settlers of the Old Dominion, the progenitor of the family in America being his great grandfather, John Sheffield, who came from England in colonial times and became a merchant. He served in the Revolution as colonel in a Virginia regiment. Among John Sheffield's children was Leonard, the grandfather of Thomas, who married Lucy Woten and died in middle life. His children were: William, Leonard, Thomas J., Jonas, Samuel, Martha, Lucy and Susan. Martha married Edward Beeker; Susan became Mrs. Carter and later Mrs. Withers; and Lucy.

Thomas J. Sheffield was born in Henry County, Virginia, and died in Benton County, Arkansas. He was a farmer all his life and lived in his state until 1859, when he removed with his family to Dallas County, Texas. In 1866 he made a further move and settled in Benton County, Arkansas, where he is buried. He married Martha Martin, daughter of Stephen Martin, of Virginia, who passed away in 1894, the mother of: Leonard, who died young; George W., of Benton County, Arkansas; Thomas E., of this biography, and Jesse W., of Beckham County, Oklahoma.

Thomas E. Sheffield was a youth of thirteen years at the time he left his native state and had acquired a limited education in the country schools. He spent some time as a Confederate soldier, under the command of General E. Kirby Smith, for whom he was courier several months. At the close of the war General Smith declined to surrender, preferring to expatriate himself instead, and when he left for Mexico Mr. Sheffield declined an urgent invitation to accompany him.

After the war Mr. Sheffield accompanied his parents to Benton County, Arkansas, where he became engaged in farming and later in selling goods. He resided there until he moved into the Cherokee country and became a resident of the new town of Westville. He engaged in mercantile business there, building the first brick business house in the city. He has since erected other business and resident structures, and owns some very desirable business property as well as dwellings; he is third owner of the electric light franchise of Westville, and in the plant recently erected. Mr. Sheffield retired from mercantile affairs in 1907, and has recently become associated with his son in the line of real estate. He has served twice in the common council and is affiliated with the Democratic party. He is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, also of the Methodist church.

January 24, 1867, he married Mary, daughter of Jesse Walker, a farmer, formerly of Bedford County, Tennessee, and the issue of the union was: Jesse T., a business man of Westville, married Mollie Lemmons; William Leonard, a merchant of Westville, married Connie Wasson, a Cherokee lady; Ellen Jo, wife of James T. Hodges, in business at Welling, Oklahoma, but whose home is in Westville.


County Attorney of McIntosh County, resident at Checotah, is one of the ablest lawyers and staunchest citizens of Oklahoma. He was elected to his present office a year prior to the coming of statehood, and in that capacity performed an invaluable service to his section of the state by harmonizing the conflicting land interests of the Indians and white settlers. The dissatisfaction of the latter over their allotments culminated in the serious uprising of the Creek Indians, under their able but reckless leader, a full blood named Chitto Harjo, or Crazy Snake; it is, therefore, popularly known as the Crazy Snake war. The real object of the lawless element of the Creeks was, by their rebellion, to force the government to rescind the order for allotments and to return the Indians to their status as it existed prior to statehood. During this period of riot and general insecurity, most delicate and difficult duties devolved upon the County Attorney, and his office was in a state of almost daily siege by either an Indian or a white man's faction. It was mainly through his decision and diplomacy that the many dangers were tided over, the Indians placated, the whites satisfied that justice had been done, and the government sustained at all points. His notable work in this state crisis gained him a firm and high position as a lawyer and a citizen.

Mr. Reubelt is a Kentuckian, a native of Henderson, born in the year 1871 to John A. and Maria (Beck) Reubelt. His paternal ancestry is Bavarian German, and his mother's people came from northern Ohio. His father was an honored educator of Alabama, Pennsylvania and Kentucky; was an ardent Republican and a close associate of Horace Greeley. .Inst prior to the breaking out of the Civil war he was a professor of ancient languages in an institution at Greensboro, Alabama, but when hostilities actually commenced returned to Pennsylvania, where he had previously resided, and went to the front as a chaplain of one of the regiments raised in that state. He served in that capacity during nearly the entire period of the war, and near its close joined the editorial staff of the New York Tribune. There his scholarly, especially his linguistic attainments, were highly appreciated, and he also assisted Horace Greeley in the preparation of his "Great American Conflict," afterward translating that celebrated work into German. Still later Mr. Reubelt engaged in educational work in the states of Indiana and Kentucky, his specialty being the languages, both ancient and modern. He established a boys' academy or preparatory school at Henderson, in the latter state, and conducted it for many years. John A. Reubelt also wrote and edited a number of philosophical and linguistic works which at the time of their publication attracted marked notice and which are still read and highly valued by scholars. He moved from Kentucky to Tennessee in 1889, and died in that state in 1904, leaving a widow and the following offspring; H. B., of this notice; Grace, wife of W. D. Mooney, who is a resident of Harriman, Tennessee; and Frank, who is a professor of Latin and German in a South Dakota school.

Horace B. Reubelt was mostly educated under the tutelage of his father, at Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee, and the University of Chicago. Graduating from the law department of the Tennessee University, he engaged in the practice of his profession at Carthage and Nashville, prior to migrating to Oklahoma in 1905. Mr. Reubelt at once located in Checotah, and had the good fortune at the outset of his career to form a partnership with the celebrated Creek attorney, Cheesie McIntosh. The following year he was elected County Attorney of McIntosh County, and commenced that notable service which has already been described and fittingly commended. In 1909, at Springfield, Missouri, he was married to Miss Ollie Stephens, daughter of Rev. William Stephens and his wife (nee Perkins). Mrs. Reubelt is the second of six children, the other five being Otis. Ernest, Roy, Jennie and Edward. She is a devoted member of the Presbyterian church and, with her husband, is a valued social member of the community.

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